The Muslim World journal (Wiley), published by Hartford Seminary, just released their latest edition, dedicated to the memory of the 800 year anniversary of the meeting between Saint Francis of Assisi and the Ayyubid Sultan Malik al-Kamil. I was given the honor of contributing to this endeavor with my article “To be a Saint and a Sultan in a Post-Secular Society: Translating a Thirteenth Century Religious Discourse in order to Rescue the Modern World.” This edition of the journal, Vol. 109 Issue 1-2 January/April, was edited by Jason Welle, Dean of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (Rome, Italy), and Dr. Fareed Munir, Professor of Religious Studies at Siena College, NY.
My essay can be found here:
It has been officially announced by Olivet College that I’ll be on Sabbatical in the fall semester of 2019. See the article here: Sabbatical
Also, see the story Olivet College posted about my recent travel class to Italy. See the article here: Popes, Saints, and Sinners in Italy
Here’s another story Olivet College did on me recently: Five Minutes with Dustin J. Byrd
On October 5th, 2018, I was honored to received Western Michigan University’s Alumni Achievement Award for my work in Comparative Religion. It was an honor to join Dr. Stephen Covell, the Chair of WMU’s Comparative Religion Department, and Dr. Carla Koretsky, Dean of WMU’s Arts and Sciences, at the ceremony and the subsequent dinner. WMU continues to be a world class institution with amazing scholars in the field of Religious Studies. See their link below.
To view the information on the other recipients, see the link below:
This lecture was given on March 19, 2019, for the Muslim Studies Program at Michigan State University, directed by Dr. Mohammad Khalil. In it, I discuss the 800 year anniversary of the meeting between Saint Francis and Sultan Malik al-Kamil, in Damietta, Egypt. From a Habermasian perspective, I argue that such an encounter can be translated into a template for discourse between religious and non-religious citizens within the post-secular society. This lecture is closely related to my book Islam in a Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity, and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith (Brill, 2017; Haymarket, 2018). The book is also available in Arabic through Mo’minoun Without Borders (Rabat, Morocco)
Here’s the Soundcloud version of the lecture:
In February of 2019, I gave a lecture at the TELOS conference at Deutsches Haus in NYU. My paper was entitled Political Theology as Civilizational Apocatastasis: On the Political Right’s ‘Return’ to Religion. It was delivered during the second plenary session on February 16. My presentation begins at the 18:30 minute mark.
As the Editor-and-Chief of the Islamic Perspective: Journal of the Islamic Studies and Humanities, published by the London Academy of Iranian Studies, I’m pleased to announce that Vol. 20, Winter 2018, has been released. My article, “Ali Shariati and the Dialectics of Authenticity,” can be found in this edition of the journal, along with many other enlightening pieces.
Back in 2013-2014, amidst the political chaos of the “astroturf” Tea Party Patriot Movement, I wrote the book A Critique of Ayn Rand’s Philosophy of Religion: The Gospel According to John Galt (2015), wherein I demonstrated that prophetic Abrahamic religions cannot be reconciled with Ayn Rand’s militantly-atheist Objectivist “philosophy.” I warned that if such right-wing pseudo-philosophy was not adequately addressed, it could lead to something worse. That prediction, unfortunately, has proven to be correct, with the increasing presence of palingenetic ultra-nationalists groups forming in North America and Europe.
The book has had success, both at dissolving the false reconciliation between religion and Randianism, and at triggering misguided Randian ire. Ayn Rand’s devotees attacked the book because I point out precisely what Rand herself pointed out: her “philosophy” is irreconcilable with religion, and her deification of money, wealth, capitalism, is antithetical to the anti-idolatry Abrahamic traditions as well as the Enlightenment. Ironically, her “philosophy” serves as an ersatz-religion for many of her most devoted admirers, a collectivist-reality which began already when she was alive and continues to this day.
Thanks to the ongoing discourse over the book, Lexington Books, a division of Rowman & Littlefield, is releasing a paperback version of the book in September of 2019. It can be purchased at Rowman & Littlefield’s website, Amazon, or any other reputable bookseller.
I’m pleased to announce that the Arabic translation of my book Islam in a Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity, and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith (Brill, 2016; Haymarket, 2018), is now available in paperback. It was translated by Mohammed Aafif of Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco. It can be purchased at: